Expert guided birding tours

Temminck's Sunbird at Mount Kinabalu
Temminck's Sunbird, Mt Kinabalu HQ

Bornean Treepie at Mt
            Kinabalu National Park
Bornean Treepie, Mt. Kinabalu
(from behind the excellent noodle shop
opposite the road from the park's HQ)

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Finest birding in Asia

Black-and-Yellow Broadbill at Sepilok
Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, male, Sepilok

Hooded Pitta
Young birds were in evidence incl. this Hooded Pitta found at night on the roost.

Orangutan in Borneo Rainforest
Bornean Orangutan

Bornean Ibon
Bornean Ibon

Indigo Flycatcher in Borneo
This Indigo Flycatcher at Mount Kinabalu
was busy building a new nest.

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Kingfisher at Sepilok Jungle Resort
Stork-billed Kingfisher,
in the Sepilok Jungle Resort grounds!

Sepilok Giant Squirrel
Giant Squirrel seen close-up from the
canopy walkway at the Rainforest
Discovery Center at Sepilok.

Brown-throated Sunbird
Brown-throated Sunbird

Broadbill seen on a Borneo birding trip
These things just happen between the
room and the restaurant at Sepilok...
Black-and-Red Broadbill

The endemic Dusky Munia
Endemic to Borneo, the Dusky Munia

Sooty-capped Babbler
Sooty-capped Babbler, a bit dull looking
possibly but not too often seen and
with only a few good photos on the net.

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker
  Yellow-vented Flowerpecker at the Rainforest Discovery Center, Sepilok

Black-capped Babbler
It is always fun to see the Black-capped Babbler strut the forest floor.

Sunda Laughingthrush
Some bird waves at Mount Kinabalu can
be huge. This Sunda Laughingthrush was
joined by Maroon and Checker-throated
Woodpecker, Bornean Geen Magpie,
Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike, Blyth's Shrike-
Babbler and a number of
Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrushes.

Asian Glossy Starling
Asian Glossy Starling

Pair Black-headed Pitta
Pair Black-crowned Pittas

Lessre Cuckoo-Shrike
Lesser Cuckoo-Shrike

Blue-crowned hanging-Parrot in the wild
Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot

Bornean Striped Palm Civet
Bornean Striped Palm Civet

Green Iora at Sepilok Nature Resort
Green Iora

I did some work on the Black-crowned
Pitta (but no worms or tape). And further
used sound recordings briefly for the
Reddish Scops-Owl, Black-capped Babbler, Wren-Babbler and Malkoha.
All other photographs are pure
opportunity shots of birds
that came my 'birding' way.
Hope you enjoyed the set. -Stijn-

Sabah, 17-31 October 2016.
Mount Kinabalu, Sepilok Forest Reserve, Crocker Range NP, Kinabatangan, Tawau Hills

An 'out of season' trip in Borneo may still produce a number of fantastic bird sightings and good photographic opportunities as I hope to show in this photo report. I would not call this trip 'complete' as only limited time was spent on Mount Kinabalu and Danum Valley was not visited. The lowlands had low bird activity and even less bird song.  Young fledged birds were in evidence. This is rather normal as obviously this was post-breeding season. I would like to note April through to September usually are the best months for a birding trip to Sabah. That said, birding on Mount Kinabalu was still pretty good on this occasion with some nice flocks and bird activity experienced as normal.

Broadbill -Birding in Sabah
Very steep slope, very steep trail; the only possibility to make the dream of an eye-level shot of the
Whitehead's broadbill come true. Asia's iridescent vivid green 'Cock of the Rock' would often make it as bird of the trip just on the usual backlit 'belly shot'. Yes, this fellow is usually found pretty high up in the canopy. This male was following a bird-wave which also had Maroon Woodpecker in it. No sound recordings were used.
This is just the result of an extraordinary bit of luck at a seldom visited location in the Crocker Range.

Barred Eagle-Owl at KinabatanganBornean Green Magpie on Mt Kinabalu
Barred Eagle-Owl, KinabatanganBornean Green Magpie, Mt. Kinabalu

Reddish Scops Owl at SepilokOriental Dwarf Kingfisher at Sepilok
Uncommon, small and only found inside primary forest, this Reddish Scops Owl
took some work to track down at Sepilok Forest Reserve.
This Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Oriental Dwarf) was also at Sepilok, at the Rainforest Discovery Center and close to the canopy walkway. This gem is actually quite common in good forest but not always easy to photograph.

Hanging-Parrot at Sepilok Nature Resort
The Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot isn't uncommon in well protected forest reserves. The resorts at Sepilok
smartly sit at the forest edge and it was no wonder we had the usual thing going on in the grounds; fly-over at rocket speed, perched distant at best. I kind of started wondering about getting good close-up shots. Also because 90% of photographs of this species on the internet are taken in captivity. I would want them photographed in the wild... a distant dream started lingering. I gave up on the resort's grounds and instead walked on closer to a Rambutan plantation and forest edge location. And then it happened, the unexpected!

Buff-necked Woodpecker at Sepilok Jungle ResortDrongo at the Sepilok Discovery Center
Buff-necked Woodpecker, SepilokGreater Racket-tailed Drongo, Sepilok

Palm Civet in Sabah RainforestSlow Loris at Sepilok
Island Palm Civet, KinabatanganSlow Loris, Sepilok

Black-crowned Garnet Pitta
Spending over an hour with a pair of Black-crowned Pittas foraging undisturbed around me was so special.
At a gully in primary forest at Sepilok only poor light comes through to the forest floor but with the full frame
camera it worked out well. Note; not lured with worms neither played sound recordings for getting this.

Prevost's Squirrel in Sepilok
Another smart Bornean squirrel and quite common at Sepilok; Prevost's Squirrel.

Malkoha in the Borneo RainforestAshy Tailorbird at Sepilok
Raffles's Malkoha, a femaleAshy Tailorbird, Sepilok

Orangutan in Sabah Rainforest
Lots of interesting things to tell about the Orangutans of Borneo. Taxonomy, ecology, behaviour, conservation... I will leave most to Wikipedia but I must pick 1 fact which I thought fits well on a page full of birds. They are adept nest builders! We all know we can learn a lot from our birds. Did they learn it from the birds? Quite possibly they are bird watchers!? After all, this magnificent ape is one of humankind's closest relatives
so we must share some of the same passion...

The endemic Mountain Wren-Babbler
One of the more cooperative Wren-Babblers once found. The endemic Mountain Wren-Babbler likes to hang
out in small groups. Walking the well maintained forest trails at Mount Kinabalu National Park may get you
to run into the squeaks and chatters of 5+ of these cuties.

Bornean Green MagpieRaffles' Malkoha
Bornean Green Magpie, Mt. Kinabalu HQRaffles's Malkoha, the male, at Sepilok

Kinabalu Temminck's Sunbird
Asia's answer to the Hummingbirds of the neotropics worked out pretty well! Temminck's Sunbird!

Buff-rumped WoodpeckerBornean Forktail at Kinabalu National Park
Buff-rumped Woodpecker, maleBornean Forktail, Silau silau trail at Mt. Kinabalu

Bornean Whitling Thrush
As with many of the Bornean endemics this Bornean Whistling Thrush has a restricted range in the mountains.

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird
A smart bird to have in the garden. Rufous-tailed Tailorbird at Sepilok forest edge resort.

August 2017 tour report